Vestas picks Louisville, Colorado as site of new R&D office

Vestas, the world's largest manufacturer and installer of wind turbines, has announced that it will create more jobs and investment in Colorado by creating a new engineering and product development division in Louisville.

Vestas Technology R&D Americas, Inc. has leased 47,675 square feet at 361 Centennial Parkway in Louisville. Vestas spokespeople say the company will employ 75 to 125 new employees at the site in the first year of operation.

Vestas' announcement to expand its investment in the state further underscores Colorado's dominant position as North America's cleantech hub. Vestas Technology R&D worked with Kittie Hook with Fuller Real Estate, the state of Colorado, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC), and the City of Louisville on the site selection analysis. 

"This is terrific news for Colorado, and another major step forward for our pacesetting New Energy Economy," said Gov. Bill Ritter. "We're excited to see a visionary company like Vestas continue to invest in our state, where our highly educated workforce, stellar research facilities and ongoing emphasis on a clean energy future for the country makes Colorado a focal point for far-sighted industries. This news, along with the Abound Solar expansion announcement this weekend, is another example of how the New Energy Economy continues to create jobs in these tough economic times, and positions our state well for a robust recovery."

Vestas' research and development center in Louisville will focus on increasing wind turbine efficiency and lowering energy costs. The division will work to improve technology for existing turbines and develop the wind power systems of the future.

"In cloudy economic times, the sun and wind are carrying our region and state forward," said Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver EDC. "Other states covet research and development centers because they are like giant pumps: innovation goes in the top and high-paying jobs come out of the bottom. Vestas' announcement is extraordinary news for Colorado."

On the evening of July 6, 2010, Louisville's City Council approved a 50 percent rebate on the use taxes charged for Vestas' tenant finish at the facility, estimated at $650,000. Vestas will begin to retrofit the facility on September 1, 2010 and plans to occupy the space by November 1, 2010.

"I am elated to hear the news. Vestas will be a great partner in our community. We welcome them, look forward to working with them, and know they will find Louisville a great place to do business," said Louisville Mayor Chuck Sisk.

Vestas, the world's leading manufacturer of wind turbines and largest cleantech employer, is investing upwards of $1 billion to build four manufacturing facilities in Colorado: a blades' factory in Windsor, a towers' factory in Pueblo, and a nacelles-assembly and blades' factory in Brighton.

Colorado's cleantech sector has grown by double digits due to unparalleled access to innovation, one of America's most highly educated workforces, and abundant natural resources. In the past two years, 17 wind and solar companies have announced they would either expand or relocate to Colorado. From creating demand through aggressive renewable-energy policy to expanding the infrastructure to reach global markets, Colorado pours its energy into expanding the cleantech industry.

As one of the world's largest producers of wind-power systems, Vestas is using its capital to explore new ways of improving wind reliability and production. In North America specifically, Vestas has established R&D offices in Madison, Wisconsin; Houston, Texas; and Hudson, Massachusetts. This new site will join Vestas' Technology R&D business and will be connected to Vestas' R&D headquarters in Aarhus, Denmark.